by Dr Yeo Lay Hwee (Director, European Union Centre, NTU)
The views expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union or the EU Centre in Singapore.
A printable version of the commentary is available HERE.
The scale of challenge posed by Covid-19 pandemic is unprecedented. As of today, over 3 million have been infected and the number of deaths have surpassed 210,000. More than 3 billion people around the world are in some degree of lockdown. The economic losses are still being counted and the consequences are still unfolding. The IMF and World Bank both acknowledged that this is a crisis like no other and no country will be immune from the severe impact on growth, jobs and livelihood.
In the midst of such unprecedented crisis, what we have from the two biggest economies and global powers, the US and China, is not stewardship but blame game and finger wagging. The US blamed China for cover-up and the WHO for being too China-centric. The Chinese blamed “the West” for squandering the time China has given it to prepare for Covid-19 arriving on their shores. Conspiracy theories on where the virus originated abound. Did it come from the US military participating in an exercise in Wuhan or did it come from a Virology lab in Wuhan?